I really enjoyed this sermon, which is described in the following way on Youtube:
“Why Was Jesus Killed?” There is a traditional Sunday School answer but when looked at in strict historical terms, Jesus was killed for much the same reasons as such martyrs as Oscar Romero, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi. Jesus publicly challenged the power and authority of the empire along with its military abuses, exploitation of the poor and prejudice about race, gender, religion, and nationality and its neglect of the sick. In that sense, Jesus died for a message of liberation and justice and the metaphorical accounts of his resurrection express the early church’s unwillingness to let the cross kill the message of Jesus.
By the way, I’ve never heard anyone other than this pastor describe Paul as someone in cahoots with the Roman government. If you know of any books or articles that explain this in further detail, please let me know.
Have a great week!